Diabetic monster..

I read a very sad story tonight about a young and promising college athlete with type 1 diabetes who, like so many other people before him, quietly passed away in his sleep due to a low blood sugar. . It sneaks up, often without warning, those unpredictable nighttime lows. And without warning, if you’re not careful, they can sneak up and steal the most precious things on earth.. it doesn’t take long, and it comes without any noise or alarm. Just poof…….

My heart shattered into so many pieces while reading that story, the pieces could not ever possibly be countedโ€ฆ Because that is my main fear with my son. The highs and lows during the day we can handle; they are completely manageable.. While they are entirely infuriating and sometimes frustrating beyond belief, it is something that we can easily deal with. It’s the lows that sneak up at night.. that is where the terror lies.

After he’s given us his hundred hugs and said his million “I love you’s” and tucked himself into bed, that’s the scary part. Because when so many other children go to bed and peacefully slumber, only afraid of the monsters under their beds and in their dreams, diabetics are constantly in a battle with their own kind of nighttime monsters. And it is the parents of these humans that fight their own variation of these monsters. My son is still too young to fully manage himself; one day, it will be in his hands (I will always remain in the background… whether he likes it or not!) So, for the time being, it is on my shoulders to keep him on this earth, and as healthy as possible, and for as long as possible.

I haven’t slept through the night in months. I get my son to check himself when he goes to bed, then I check him when I go to bed a couple hours later, then I get up every single night at 3 am and check him again. I should be exhausted, I should feel drained beyond measure. But when it comes right down to it, that is my baby’s life there, and I am not willing to sacrifice it for 15 extra minutes of sleep. I jump out of bed and happily/groggily check his tiny little finger, only lit by the hall light, and he sleeps right through it. He sleeps through a sharp object blowing a hole into his delicate finger skin, me squeezing a drop of blood out, wiping it off, and squeezing another, and the incessant beeping of his glucose monitor. Then, once I have his reading, I either tuck him in and slunk back to bed, or rip to the fridge to grab his emergency juice (also known as his big brothers regular juice boxes… ah, the simple life) He even sleeps through me ramming straws into his mouth and forcing him to drink enough juice to bring him out of his lows (of which require me to recheck his finger every 15 minutes until he is back to an acceptable reading.. which means, I have to keep blowing holes and squeezing blood until he is back to a good level)

I’ve read stories of mothers who haven’t slept through the night in 20 years because of their Type 1 children. And that is absolutely going to be me. If there was ever a question before that I was going to be an overbearing mother and one of the ones who are still a constant in their children’s lives when they’re older, I have no doubt in my mind that I’m going to be now. Sorry future girlfriends, after everything I’ve been through with him, you’re just going to have to put up with me!

He is 10. He has a lot of years left ahead of him. And if it means I lose sleep for the foreseeable future, so be it; it means he wakes up every morning. If it means my cell phone bill is more every month, just so he can text me his levels, so be it; it means I know he is safe, and I always get a ton of “i love you” texts, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If my grocery bill goes up so he can have the best possible foods for him, and always be prepared, so be it; it means he has the best shot at being completely healthy and happy.

My son  is a Type 1 Diabetic. But he is so much more than that. He is my son, and I intend on helping him figure out exactly what else he is going to be.
  

Sore, but not dead.. keep going!

So, on January 4th I went way out of my comfort zone. I weighed myself in front of someone else! Absurd, right? I frigging agree! But the local sporting goods store does this bad-ass contest every New Year… people go weigh in, their weight is marked down in the computer, and in 8 weeks, go weigh again! And for every pound you’ve lost, they issue you a $3 gift card for their store! For anyone without thyroid issues, this could pay big! Or men… pffft… it is just so unfair how quick dudes can dump weight! But as previously discussed, women get to sit to pee, so there has to be balance in the battle of the sexes somewhere. I sit to pee, and they can lose 5 pounds in one day without trying. Yup, totally fair. Anyway, I am getting off topic (slightly)

So I begrudgingly dragged my tubby butt into the store, and then proceeded to ramble the lady’s ear off as I was stepping on to the scale, explaining why I was as big as I was… like she cares, right? Yeah, probably not. But I still felt it necessary! Some days I want to wear a sandwich board explaining my weight situation, because the judging looks can get really hurtful and annoying. But anyway, I weighed myself, for the first time in many months, in front of a total stranger. And as a recap, the many months also included when my son was diagnosed with diabetes, the subsequent hospital stay, and my prolonged IDGAF attitude towards eating, snacking and gluten. Gluten, for anyone who isn’t aware, is a big no-no for people with my autoimmune disease, but at that point, I was focused on my sons newly diagnosed autoimmune disease (which gluten doesn’t affect, for anyone keeping track)

When I stepped on to that scale (it was on carpet, which I didn’t think was smart for weighing, but whatever…) I was pleasantly surprised. It was nowhere near where I thought it would be! It was much lower – still a grotesquely revolting number, but lower, nonetheless.

I re-started the 21 Day Fix on January 4th. I love that program. When it first came out in 2014, I did it religiously and lost 10 pounds in a month and a half. Then my doctor fucked around with my meds, and I gained upwards of 35 pounds, and haven’t lost it yet (thanks Doc!) But it is a great program. Most people don’t really realize how much their portions are just waaaaay wrong. It super helped. And I found the workouts to be really fun! I had to modify lots to begin with, but got better and stronger. Then I had to quit, at to the request of the aforementioned doctor. But I happily threw my dvds in and started all gung-ho. But I quickly became insanely bored (hello, doing this for almost 2 years.. it is bound to get boring as hell) So I popped in my 21 Day Fix Extreme and…. HOLY SHITBALLS! There is nothing easy about this program! The very first workout, I wanted to die. Plyo with weights? Screw you! Cardio with weights? Screw you more! Everything with weights? Kill me now. I am so sore. So so sore.

SO SORE! But you know what? I am not dead. And, I have lost almost 6 pounds now. Sure, in the span of a month, that is not super awesome. But, I am not eating super good (too little, if anything.. for real, I hate food) and I am still modifying a lot (I have the knees of a 70 year old man) But every morning, I get up, make my Amino Energy, pop in my dvd, pull out my weights, and sweat my balls off (I have sweat a lot, so I no longer have balls.. hahaha)

At the very least, I imagine I will get about $15.00 in gift cards. My husband weighed in, too. So I am sure he will let me use his gift cards, too. I am hoping to get enough to get a new sports bra. Ooooh, dreaming big!!

Like a well planned game of dominos..

Being sick sucks, you know? Illness, any form, is just a giant asshole third wheel that follows you around and haunts your daily routine, until one day it develops a huge case of jealousy and demands that it becomes your significant other. WELL! Let me tell you, it is not significant nor is it welcome! Then the illness is all “me me me! Focus on me!” and your life becomes focused around fevers and chills, monster headaches and sore muscles, and spending more time inspecting the interior of your toilet bowl than a cleaning lady ever has or will.

You get my point. Being sick sucks. I wouldn’t say I am necessarily sick right now, but I can feel the selfish asshole third wheel just following me around, waiting for a crack in my armor so it can sneak in and engulf my very existence. It is like a well planned game of dominoes. At the moment, I have my dominoes all nicely lined up, and falling in a very specific and beautiful manner. But my third wheel is hell-bent on knocking them down out of order and creating chaos in my world. Well, that is just rude! Do you have any idea how time consuming it is to line those bastard dominoes up!?

At the moment (well, the last few days worth of moments) I have felt “off”. You know the feeling, nothing is particularly wrong, but at the same time, you just feel like something is about to be wrong. I have been weak and a bit dizzy, my head hasn’t been hurting, but it doesn’t feel right, my eyes feel like they are moving a bit slower than normal, my reaction time is off, and I feel just completely worn out.

My son (the cream center in my children oreo, also known as the diabetic one) has been sick all week, and sickness creates all sorts of hell and havoc for diabetics. Their blood sugar is basically an acutely orchestrated dance on a high wire, and even the slightest breeze can knock that bitch over. Well, any type of sickness basically acts like a fucking monsoon, and it throws the whole dance off. Way off. Sugar is released by their liver to help the body to give itself energy to combat any sickness. And then they are more prone to dehydration, because their body is fighting, and there is an excess of sugar in them because of their overprotective liver (stupid douchebag liver screws everything up) And if they tip into dehydration, their kidneys secrete even more sugar. It is a frigging crapshoot, and it screws him all up.

He has been fighting this sinus thing for a week. Beauty part? He had no sinus symptoms at first, so we had no effing idea what the hell was wrong with his numbers. One day perfect, next day total shit! Glorious. And not the least bit frustrating! NO! I didn’t shed one single tear out of pure unadulterated frustration and exacerbation. Not one. (that is a lie, I had a meltdown. shut it…) But we got a handle on it, and I showed that sinus issue who is boss. Don’t mess with me! I have western medicine on my side! BWAHAHA! (I may be slightly off my rocker, due to the level of exhaustion I am currently rocking, and the fact that I don’t feel very good…) So while he was sick, the insulin floweth like a river. Needles, needles and more needles. Best part of diabetics getting sick? Other than the aforementioned hell on earth? Insulin resistance! WOOO! Turns out, when they are sick (or the wind blows a certain way, it seems…) their bodies develop a slight resistance to insulin, which makes it even more difficult to lower their already sky-high blood sugar. Oh the joys this disease has brought us all (for real though, we are doing amazingly well, considering how effing new this is to all of us) So while I was cranking my middle-little full of that foul smelling shit, I was then forced (gladly) into checking his level even more than normal, for fear that his resistance may have lowered it’s shield and may have driven him into a horrendous low. So, up almost every single hour during the night, testing his blood, listening to his breathing, making sure he was still breathing, nudging him to make sure he was okay.. sleepless nights are something that all mothers are familiar with, but when you have the added terror of your diabetic child sliding into a low in his sleep, then into a coma, and never waking up… yeah, your ass is out of bed like your sheets are on fire.

So while I was taking care of him, I may have slightly ignored myself. Not fully. I still remembered to exercise and shower, but I am seriously lacking sleep, and may have forgotten to eat every now and then (not may have, I absolutely did). All of this probably added up to enough to get my immune system lowered enough for that asshole third wheel to rock his asshole way in, and knock my dominoes over. Like an asshole. I may not be full-blown sick yet, but I can feel that one domino just weebling there, like a fucking weeble-wobble.. and it could go either way. My sweet and selfless husband has let me sleep until 9:00 all weekend, in an attempt to help me “sleep it off” which is helping a bit. But he is in the middle of 2 weeks worth of 13 hour night shifts, and has been sleeping all day, and gone all night, so even with the extra hour of sleep in the morning, I am still exhausted, because I am left alone to take care of all 3 boys. I don’t mind, they’re not horrible. But it is still tiring to do when you don’t feel good, and one of them requires so much extra attention, and one of them is four. The oldest is okay, but he is almost 13 and is swimming in a sea of extra testosterone and attitude, which is a whole new adventure for us.

Either way, being sick sucks. It sucks for me, it sucks for my oreo.. it just plain sucks. Just leave my dominoes alone, k? It has taken me a long time to line them up, and I am not too keen on anything making a mess of them. dominoes-game-graphic-3d-wallpaper-colorful

Not all sunshine and rainbows..

The last few days have been trying. That’s not to say that the previous days were particularly easy, but we were handling it.

Slight catch up. My middle son got diabetes in November. And it has not been all sunshine and rainbows since then. I am beyond grateful that we caught it when we did, but a part of me will always grieve for the piece of my son that was lost on that day. He is such a beautiful boy, with an amazing heart and a promising future. He is so full of life and humor and love. And no matter what we do now, and how hard we try, there will always be a part of him that was taken away that day. I will fight until my dying breath to make sure that my baby is happy and taken care of, and always do my best to remind him of his inner light.

But like I said, the last few days have been hard on him. There is so much about this stupid asshole disease that is literally left up to trial and error. There is so much guessing and testing and trying. So much of it resides in the grey. It is not as cut and dry as most diseases, and that makes it SO FUCKING INFURIATING!

Why? Why are his normally stable numbers all of a sudden creeping up? From a steady 6-8 to an 11, then 14, then 15, and then from there, there was no going back. We battled. We rallied. We racked our brains as to how to fix it, why it was happening, what could have caused it… We threw out his insulin and gave him a new cartridge, we revamped our meal plan, I went through 2 months worth of numbers and food logs and checked for any patterns, we made him sleep more, drink more water, have more protein, increased the insulin to carb ratio, increased his lantus dose… I did everything that any professional would do in my position.. and then I hit my breaking point.

I caved and called the Health Link. In my province, it is a call center run by nurses who listen to symptoms and help you decide if you need the doctor or emerg or maybe some allergy pills. More often than not (I would say 98% of the time) they send you to the doctor anyway, but I still call. I will not be doing that again! While it is useful for some things, they are not allowed to do shit about kids with diabetes. I told her “I have everything sorted, I just have one question” and I asked it, and all she did was reprimand me on his numbers and told me to call his nurse. THANKS TIPS!! After completely exacerbating myself with that very nice, albeit completely useless, woman, my sons diabetic nurse finally called me back.

Our regular nurse is no longer at the health unit, so we have a new lady that I have yet to meet. She seemed very nice, but upon telling her my story, my frustration overfloweth, and I had a little breakdown while on the phone with her. We talked for an hour, she reassured me that I was doing everything right, and that I was a good mom and he was lucky to have me… but I can not begin to tell you how broken I felt. While she did make me feel a bit better, and we did hash a few things out and get some ideas going between the two of us, I still feel like I am failing my son because I can’t fix him!

Why is he high? These are the reasons we came up with….

  • he was left high all weekend and his body built up a resistance to insulin (yes, that bullshit is legit)
  • he is going through a growth spurt
  • he didn’t sleep enough and his body is feeling insulin resistant
  • he is fighting some sort of infection or illness
  • he is dehydrated
  • he is stressed out about something
  • he isn’t rotating his injection spots enough and his tummy is building up an insulin resistance
  • his insulin was somehow exposed to extreme temperatures and it’s garbage
  • his carb ratio needs to be adjusted
  • he needs more of his all-day-long insulin
  • his “honeymoon” phase is over
  • who. fucking. knows.

There are literally so many reasons why diabetics sugar levels go all psycho, but all I know, is that his did. I do know a few of those things are true, and I busted my ass for him to rectify that which was done wrong for him (no fault of my own).

I am his person. I fight for him, so he doesn’t have to. I fight and bust my ass and lose sleep and feel insane, so he can have a semblance of a childhood. But we still had to get to the root cause of his stupid high numbers.

He has had a runny nose, but hasn’t complained once. Not once! So after he texted me his lunchtime number today, I decided to pull the mommy card and yank him out of school, so I could have him home for a big chunk of time, and focus on him and getting him better. Being excited can raise blood sugar, and with him already higher than I would like, I figured being at school would just perpetuate it. So, he came home! And on the way home, he was really sniffly. It hit me! “is there any sort of pressure or pain in this part of your nose?” And he said yes. BAM. I had my answer (well, part of it.) It is now believed that after his numbers were left high for a whole weekend, his body was stressed enough to allow him to get sick again. I gave him a sudafed (pharmacist approved) and had him drink a liter and a half of water, gave him his correction insulin… and for the first time in 4 days, I got him below 10!! I almost cried. He almost cried. And I kept it down all day. It was one of those moments where you just feel totally relieved.. and yet, stressed at the same time.

This is his life now! This is what we have to look forward to forever. Any time he is sick, or stressed, or excited, or sleep deprived, going through puberty, doesn’t drink enough water, his body decides to be an asshole, etc etc… I feel so sorry for him.

This whole disease is a crock of shit. I am just hoping and praying that there are some amazing advances in the field in his lifetime, so he can maybe have a bit of an easier time.

But for now, know this. Diabetes sucks ass. It is a crock of shit. My heart shatters when I think of what my funny happy baby has to go through now. But I will be by his side, doing what I can, for as long as I can. And maybe even longer.. haha, I am pretty stubborn, I’m not sure I will ever allow anyone to tell me I am not needed. Oh yes, I believe I may be one of “those” mothers… bwahahaha!!

 

 

 

Almost a new year..

  

Well, it happened. Another year has come and gone. 2015 started out like a lamb and bombarded through us like a starving lion on the hunt for bloody carcass. It was pleasant in some points, but for the most part, it was trying in every way, shape and form. But I have this to announce: WE MADE IT! I am quite proud of my little family and everything we were able to accomplish this year! It wasn’t easy, but we all landed on our feet and I think we are better and stronger because of it.

A few curveballs were thrown at us. But like I always say, when life throws your curve balls, get a bigger bat. And if that doesn’t work, use it to hit the pitcher! And that’s exactly what we did. We beat the shit out of the pitcher, and we are all doing just fine with our new rolls as bat-swinging-bad-asses.

You know how they say that you never know how strong you are until that is the only option you have? I believe that to be true, to an extent. I always knew I was strong (I have lived through my fair share of shitstorms and difficulties, and came out on top every time.. bruised and battered maybe, but still on top) Well, this year, my family was tested, and hot-damn, are we ever a bunch of strong people! SO PROUD!

We had a very exciting, and sometimes stressful, 12 months. But we handled it like champs. The most challenging thing that we had thrown at us was our 10 year old was slammed with diabetes. It was not expected, came out of left field and took us all by surprise. BUT! My little unit has pulled together, became stronger, and are now a bunch of carb counting, needle giving, blood sugar measuring, snack organizing, 3am alarm setting, crazy people!!! And I am so proud of how we all pulled together, and so proud of how we are all supporting not just our middle-little, but eachother. I have watched my 3 boys get closer than ever this year, watched my husband become even more of an amazing father, and figured out how bad-ass and strong-as-hell I can be. It is humbling and awesome!

I am excited to see what we can do next year. I do know that whatever is thrown at us, we are gonna rock it!

Bring it on, 2016!!!!!!

Take your vitamins – geez, thanks doctor!

As you may or may not know, I am broken. I have this little bastard butterfly in my neck, and it causes me ungaugableย levels of strife and misery. It is something I have struggled with and battled for almost a decade, and I STILL don’t have a grasp on it. It makes me feel like a failure on a daily basis, and it has made me feel like I have wasted so much of my life fighting something that will probably never be beat.

But I digress….

I went to my very expensive specialist on Wednesday.. my husband and I packed ourselves and our little 3 year old into his Golf (yay for diesel cars!) and moseyed on down to Edmonton (a 4.5 hour drive from our house) He doesn’t work during the week, and I don’t work Wednesday’s, so luckily neither of us were missing work. We woke our boy up at 545 and began our long day. We went straight to West Edmonton Mall, as we had some stuff to search and destroy there (I had to get my wedding rings re-dipped, he was getting a new phone at Apple, Oakley needed our attention, I had a gift card from Lululemon burning a hole in my pocket, and we had to go to Sport Chek) So we did that all as fast as we could, as we only had an hour and a half there before we had to rip to my doctors appointment. Luckily, they have an amazing play-care center there, so our little dude was able to burn off some energy there while I dealt with my asshole thyroid.

My BHRT nurse came in and was dumbfounded at my blood test results. Basically, my tsh is too high, my t3 is too low, I have NO iron in my body (their words!), I am painfully deficient in magnesium, extremely deficient in my b vitamins, and need to supplement vitamin d and c. Oh, and probiotics wouldn’t hurt, and while I am at it, add some omega 3’s. HOLY CRAP! What the hell else could go wrong? OH RIGHT! My homocysteine is still high, which is dangerous for my heart. FUCK YA… that’s so awesome.

Enter my doctor, who is supposed to FIX ME…. he says he isn’t touching my thyroid meds (thanks doc, I feel like shit, so I fully support the lack of assistance!) and my best bet is to add in iron, magnesium, omegas, vitamin b, c and d, and probiotics. Oh and maybe a good multivitamin, too. Then he got up and left.

I paid $175 for that!? Take your vitamins and omit alcohol and gluten? I ALREADY DO THAT!! And he didn’t give me any dosing info… so I suppose I am supposed to guess? Oh, that’s not true. He did tell me to take magnesium until I begin shitting myself (his words) and then back it down a bit. That is some pretty amazing diagnostician work!

So now here I sit, almost a year into my very costly treatment, and I am not farther ahead.. in fact, I think I might be even farther away from where I started.

Oh well… stay positive, Jennie. Stay positive. I suppose in the end, everything I am doing is going to eventually get me to where I want to be. And once the weight comes off, all of my hard work will be immediately revealed, whereas most people would still have a lot of work to do after losing the weight…

So, silver lining! I suppose……… sigh.

It’s all about perspective..

My friends have been commenting on how god awful my work hours are.. Yeah, I get it – I work early! But you know what? I FREAKING LOVE IT!!! There aren’t a lot of people who would intentionally choose a job that started at 530 in the morning, but that’s just what I did!

I work at a Crossfit Box, and I can’t begin to tell you how awesome it is!! The people who work there are amazing, and the people who come in to workout are so happy and upbeat. It really is an incredible workplace. Plus I get to train there now, which is AWESOME!!!

I get up for work at 430, get ready, and then get my shakes ready for the day. I get to work at 515 and get everything going for the day, while the 500 class is just getting into it. I’m then by myself until 830, which is kinda awesome, cuz it’s not super busy, so I get to learn a bit more about the job, the gym and the people there. PLUS!!! I get to come home every day at noon, so I still get to spend the whole day with my youngest son and my husband, and when my older two get home from school. And it opens up my afternoons for errands and school functions. It’s perfect! Two worlds, one day.

It’s great!! My end goal is to get into nutrition and continue to help people with my Beachbody thing, and to really find their inner awesome and set it free. I’m just so excited I get to spend my hours in such a great atmosphere.

See.. It’s about perspective! Not a lot of people would be excited to work at 530 in the morning.. To drag out of bed at 430 and drive to work in the dark and the cold, and then do everything alone for 3 hours.. But I LOVE IT!!!!

Perspective is good.. You just gotta know how to use it.

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